VAGABOND Spring 2005 Issue 1
Multilingual Literary Journal
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LETTER FROM THE CHIEF VAGAS: Chief Vagabonds (Presidents): Anastasia Namsaraeva Tatyana Shmygol Chief Hobo (Vice President): Sara Jurdi Editors: Nicolas Delporte Teresa Ko Elisa Rossi Ivy Lin Kimberly Hitchcock Artists/Illustrators: Hao Li Anastasia Namsaraeva Layout: Tatyana Shmygol Anastasia Namsaraeva Nicolas Delporte Web Design: Teresa Ko Staff: Jenny Gilbert, Andrea Lan Kao For more information visit our website: vagabond.berkeley.edu or e-mail us at
On the cover: portrait of John Fizer, painted by Hao Li, oil on canvas.
How the idea came about… It was one of Berkeley’s chilly and deserted evenings. We were sitting under the circus roof lights of café Strada, at one of those round tables with a piece of world map imprinted on its top, reading Baudelaire and sharing our thoughts about the meaning of his poems in Russian, English and French simultaneously. We broke out laughing at the unwanted attention that our trilingual conversation had stirred, and then it hit us—Berkeley— so many languages, so many cultures, so much life and no literary publication to embody and unite all of it! Berkeley is host to all kinds of musicians, artists, poets, clowns, jugglers, bucket drummers, dancers, fat squirrels, realists, pessimists, romantics, cynical raccoons—one cannot but feel as Alice in Wonderland, wandering through subconscious labyrinths of this magical life. When we take a closer look at one another we see more similarities than differences, and it’s by sharing those similarities while respecting and truly understanding and accepting the differences that we can create a more coherent world. Well, to quote John Lennon: “They may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…” Berkeley is a place for all vagabonds. ~ Anastasia and Tatyana
THANK YOU LETTER: First, we would like to thank our sponsors: the Berkeley Language Center, the ASUC, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Department of French. We would like to thank Dr. Mark Kaiser, the Associate Director of the BLC, for not losing faith in our creation and taking us under the BLC Internet umbrella. We want to thank Dr. Sarah Roberts for all her inspiration, energy and guidance. These two amazing people were there for us during the roughest stages of this publication. The value of their contributions cannot be overestimated. Last, but not least, we want to thank our dedicated, hardworking and very loyal vagabonds Sara Jurdi, Theresa Ko, Nicolas Delporte, and Elisa Rossi, and everyone who belongs to our club and who in one way or another has worked on the journal either by editing works, by verifying the legitimacy of the translations or by attending the meetings and pitching in creative ideas and quotes. We hope that this publication will reward all the effort and investment everyone has contributed.
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Table of Contents: We Fell (Turkish) .......................................................................................4 Between Gray Buildings (Russian) ...........................................................5 Sunlight through the Autumn Leaves (Japanese) ......................................6 The age of Darkness (Arabic) ...................................................................8 Coquelicots (French) ...............................................................................10 November 7th (Japanese).........................................................................12 From far away (Russian) .........................................................................13 Rain (Russian) .........................................................................................14 Sparklers (German) .................................................................................16 Love Imperfecto (Spanish) ......................................................................17 The Story of Forgetting (Chinese) ..........................................................18 Resignation (Portuguese) ........................................................................19 Quetzal (Spanish) ....................................................................................20 Bonjour mon Petit Prince (French) .........................................................21 Tower of Ivory Pillow (Turkish) ............................................................22 La Notte Vola (Italian) ............................................................................24 Plump Branches of Lilac (Russian) ........................................................26 Glass Melancholy (Russian) ...................................................................27 Mooncake (Chinese) ...............................................................................28 Volcano (Spanish) ...................................................................................29 This Issue’s Vagabond: John Fizer .........................................................30 John Fizer’s poem: Untitled ....................................................................31 The Woman in the White Hat (Turkish) .................................................32 Looking Vacantly (Japanese) ..................................................................33 Samurai Sword (Russian) .......................................................................34 Mystery of Your Heart (Spanish) ............................................................36 Crème brûlée (Russian) ...........................................................................37 Una ﬂor en el aqua (Spanish and Farsi) ..................................................38
Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe VAGABOND
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1. düþtük düþmekten medet umarak duymadýðýmýz bir çukurda bozuldu büyü her karanlýðýn sonu þafak deðilmiþ bir hayat boyuna yayarak anladýk uyduk uymaktan medet umarak uygun bir üniformada bozuldu büyü saatlerimiz ayný, aynalarýmýz ayný ayrý yolda ayný ayakkabýyý sürüdük aldýk almaktan medet umarak altý milyarlýk bir markette bozuldu büyü suyumuzu pet þiþeden, ekmeði poþetinden çýkartamaz gibi bilmezden yedik bildik bilmekten medet umarak aydýnlýk kervanýyla çin yolunda uyandýk göðsümüz gökyüzünde, elimiz insan elinde çözülmemiþ o düðümü çözmeye kalktýk Sener Akturk
1. We fell--Hoping that falling would help us Our hope was undone in a dark hole that we’ve never heard of Every dark tunnel does not lead to Light Our lifelong experience taught us We conformed--Hoping that conforming would help us Our hope was undone in a conformist uniform Wearing the same watch, our mirrors the same We dragged the same shoes along different roads We bought and bought--Hoping that buying would help us Our hope was undone in a six billion strong market Drinking water from plastic bottles, and our bread in plastic bags We ate without knowing it We learned--Hoping that learning would help us We woke up in a caravan of Light, on the way to China* Our shoulders in the skies, our hands joined human hands We attempted to solve the Gordion knot.
Sener Akturk *The trip to China in the fourth stanza alludes to Prophet Muhammad’s hadith regarding science and higher learning: “You should pursue science even if it is in China.” It is also meant to have a double-meaning in the Turkish context by referring to the Marxist-Maoist journal Aydinlik (“Enlightenment”, second line of fourth stanza reads “caravan of Enlightenment” in Turkish) and their sympathy for the modern day People’s Republic of China. “Gordion Knot” is a knot that a Frigian king ﬁxed in the city of Gordion in Asia Minor (Anatolia). The legend had it that whoever unwinds the knot would rule over Asia. Alexander the Great, frustrated by the knot, cut it with his sword when he conquered Gordion.
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Tatyana Shmygol 1. In between the grey clouds the summer is stuck And disheveled fans of peonies Are sold near the subway station Old women sell fennel And strawberries in funny awkward baskets And through the squeaking of tramways with a gasoline smoke Stufﬁness presses into my forehead.
2. Here the cloud has exploded like a muscle Above a yellow-bellied trafﬁc light A prick of a toy in A clap of the thunderstorm above my ear Steps on the sprinkled asphalt Here, the green is wet, linen: I’ll press with my whole body—what if you recognize me? At least by the ﬁngerprints?.. Tatyana Shmygol
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Sunlight through the Autumn Leaves Forever in time, deep in my heart, My bittersweet memories ﬂow out, The sunlight through the leaves, its gentleness and painfulness, With a whisper, it envelops me. Dressed in funeral garb painted of earth, The autumn leaves slowly dance and twirl, Stroking the water’s surface just like a gentle breeze. “One day, I want to come back here,” I murmur, gazing at the brilliantly shimmering lake, “This time next year, will I be able to come back here?” With that, hot tears come tumbling down. Forever in time, deep in my heart, The water is soft gold and the sky pale blue, Between the chill of the earth and the fever of the sun I live desperately on. The more I try to talk the more my breath dwindles, I write my words on a leaﬂet and place it on the water, Creating elegant ripples. “One day, I’d like to come back here,” I murmur, gazing at the dimly twinkling lake, “This time next year, I’ll not be here...” With a whisper, the sunlight through the leaves disappears.
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AGE OF DARKNESS My Violin ... what wonderful tunes she used to play Within her chords, my heart rejoiced, ’n to those who listened, she was a marvel For dance she would, come joy or shine and, to her tunes, the hearts would join Or – God forbid – should sorrow come, then cry she would, and Heaven and Earth in tears become One year has passed since last she played, I used to think she no more would Until, today, it seemed she might, for humm she would all day and night *** My Violin... of what tonight you wish to sing? of long forgotten tales you wail? of longing, as you further sail? of those behind, and mem’ries lost, or those in lasting pain were thrust? Oh, come now. You can’t be shy!! For long you’ve slept – I wonder why – but now it’s time you sang a tune the birds would covet as their own. *** My Violin... like whispers comes her voice to me, glancing to the sun, yearning for a scent : “No chord of mine can play no more for an age of darkness now unlocks, where reigns a wolf, and a rabid dog. An age where vultures come in ﬂocks, and jackals, in broad daylight, would jog. In sand the lions would their heads bury, and stallions out of sight would scurry. In ashes and mourning, my city lies No house untouched, no butterﬂies Life in my city has come to a still There... our “brave” men would, in silence, watch a conquering Attila’s arrogant march. Over dead bodies, of bloodied kindred, the wolf would howl, the dog would growl VAGABOND
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Our old and wise, would solemnly say : ‘Go not to ﬁght, but go to pray. Have faith and wait, one dawn will come, and darkness will once more be gone, but those of you who were too brave will soon regret it in the grave’. *** My Violin... in fragments comes her voice to me, “and all you care for: a once-burning desire, today rekindled, tomorrow gone, while, in the wailing heart of Arabia, the blazing ﬁre goes on and on!! I’m out of tears, farewell my friend, for even sorrow can reach an end. *** My Violin... for life has lost her voice to me .. Yet, in my dreams, she carries on “I’ll be brought back to life one day, when a youthful, patient, lot comes forth. Their wills unbound, their souls unmarred, and still fertile Their hearts sincere, their paths straight, and know no guile Shed blood they won’t among their own, and won’t unless some bloody mess has reached the bone. A sword, a plow, a quill, they wield All, for one cause, would never yield One day, their reins will be my chords, when down they take the fallen lords. The day in joy my chords will sing in free Jerusalem, chimes will ring. M. Talaat 31/03/2003
“Coquelicot.” Il m’a dit. « Co-que-li-cot. Tu sais ce que c’est ? » Je le savais mais je secouais la tête tendrement, parce que je voulais entendre ce joli mot encore, Doux et sonore comme une symphonie verbale. C’était toujours comme ça avec lui, Chaque phrase qu’il disait était de la poésie, même quand il me demandait d’arroser les grains Ou de l’accompagner pour promener le chien, D’abord, je croyais que c’était simplement la jolie langue, cette langue de la musique, Mais plus tard dans la ville de gris, Je cherchais encore cette poésie chez les gens, Mais je ne trouvais que des grognements et des sons durs et des bruits comme ceux d’un oiseau torturé. Il l’a répété « Co-que-li-cot », plusieurs fois, puis laissait courir sa langue pour dire quelque chose que même lui ne puisse comprendre, en prenant mes mains dans les siennes pour en chercher. Comme de vrais fermiers, nous avons laissé les chaussures à la maison, Et bien que mes pauvres pieds ne soient pas aussi durs que les siens (je ne voulais pas me rendre compte que je n’étais qu’une fermière temporaire) J’ai couru, souriante, la bouche ouverte, bien que les brindilles et les épines des pins Me piquaient comme des insectes. Juste avant l’arrivée du crépuscule, Il a trouvé un joli groupe de coquelicots, « Ceux-ci », j’ai fait signe d’avoir ﬁnalement compris, pour lui donner La ﬁerté qu’il voulait, bon professeur, bon homme. Tandis que le soleil retraitait doucement, Il n’y avait rien à faire sauf les regarder, les yeux mouillés et s’embrasser pour donner un spectacle aux coquelicots pour les remercier de leur existence.
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Poppies “Coquelicot” He said. “Co-que-li-cot” You know what that is? I knew, but I shook my head softly, Wanting him to continue repeating the word, Soft and sweet like a lyrical symphony. It was always like this with him, Each sentence he spoke was poetry, even when he asked me to water the seeds, Or to walk the dog with him. At ﬁrst, I just assumed that it was the beautiful language, This musical language, But later, in the town of grey I searched for this poetry in other people But only found grumbling and screeching that made me think of a tortured bird. He repeated it, “Co-que-li-cot,” many times, Then let his tongue run off, saying something that even he couldn’t understand, Taking my hands in his to begin the search As real farmers do, we left our shoes back at the cottage, And though my poor feet weren’t strong and callused like his (I wouldn’t let Myself realize that I was only a temporary farmer) I ran smiling, mouth open as the thorns and pine needles Stung me like little insects. Just before the arrival of dusk He found a nice bunch of poppies “Here!” Ah! I smiled, pretending that I ﬁnally understood to give him the pride he needed, skilled teacher, a good person that he is. As the sun retreated, tenderly, We gazed at the poppies until our eyes began to glisten, Then kissed, As a gesture of appreciation for the ﬂowers’ existence. Jenny Gilbert
Actions come after ideas; Ideas come after knowledge
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November 7, 2001 Captured by love Or is it the mist? Canâ€™t see Walking blindly Behind me someone Is laughing silently
Wobbly walking Like an aged woman Falling over a stone On the side of a street Hitting the forehead Spilt blood Taints the mist Crimson Tonight: a mesmerizing Scarlet drapery. Ayako Urao
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*** From far away you’re closer and more alive And here the faces have mixed into a kaleidoscope And in the dusk breathes a foreign silence The airport, which reminds one of a hospital. In the tear of clouds—a piece of sky Like a wound all patched up with cotton balls. But with a drop of iodine into the stripe of the sunset Already ﬂows the alienation of the night.
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How much you get depends on how well you plant
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Rain Every dawn I dream: Armies of murdered notes Stream down fatigued faces Come together in whirlpools, And all I want is NOT to see These windows pounded into night: I want to bend the light Into a tight curl of glass. Throwing my palms apart I’ll dip my ﬁnger into Spring— Upon ceramic wallshine Drizzle of shivering rocks; A bubble of clouds has exploded Broken crystal with crunching Of cotton threads Hit the puddles a thunderstorm,— a morning; the light and empty... Tatyana Shmygol
Il più certo modo di celare agli altri i conﬁni del proprio sapere è di non trapassarli. Giacomo Leopardi (The best way of concealing the extent of your knowledge is not to go beyond it)
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Bengalisches Feuer Schlaﬂosigkeit. Oder Flucht ins blaue Geviert des Kissens. Wo wir uns nicht mehr zu helfen wissen, fallen Fledermäuse ääuse ein. Durch die Ritzen in den Bilderrahmen scheint die Sonne. Uns gehen so die Gedanken durch den Kopf wie Öl durch ein Sieb. Schlafen. Zuﬂucht ins weißee Geviert des Kissens. Die Fledermäuse use werden getauft und verschwinden. Der Müllauer lackiert die Rahmen neu. Möglichkeiten fallen uns ein, wie Öll durch ein Sieb. Im Zwielicht nach den Sonnenuntergängen ngen scheint nichts zufällig Zu sein wie es ist, alles ist angezündet ndet von unserem Blick. Sasha Kowbow
Sparklers Sleeplessness. Or: Ascendance toward the blue quarter of the pillow. Where we do not know what to do, bats are invading. Through a chink in the picture frames the sun is shining. Thoughts roam through the mind like oil through a sieve. Sleeping. Shelter in the white quarter of the pillow. The bats are being baptized and disappear. The Müllauer M paints the frames. Possibilities come to mind, like oil through a sieve. In the twilight after sundown nothing seems random To be as it is, all is kindled by a glance. Sasha Kowbow
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con trago de tequila, fast smooth quick and painless, llegaré a tu puerta, half dazed half drunk half buzzed half baboso y pendejo, sacando mi guitarra solitaria, cantando serenata, y como chele gringo con salsa y merengue medio tonto tocaré las cuerdas all fucked up. with cracking voice, medio gato medio kermit te samplo chente billy willy shakespeare, ll cool j’s i need love, y un poco de stevie b cuz i love you. embarrassed, the windows will be shut. y aún, under the moonlight me saldrán los versos, como blurred spanglish silhouettes, stagnant where 101 meets the 405, y como estrellas que se pierden en el smog que nunca tocan el suelo. y te cantaré, y te bailaré, y te bailaré la canción como medio cantinﬂas y medio elaine seinﬁeld hasta que habras las ventana como reina, ó que llegue la chota treating me like a king.
with a shot of tequila, fast smooth quick and painless, i will come to your door, half dazed half drunk half buzzed half dumb ass and stupid , taking out my lonely guitar, singing serenade, and like a white guy with salsa and merengue half dumb i will play the chords all fucked up. with cracking voice, half cat half kermit i sample you vicente fernandez billy willy shakespeare, ll cool j’s i need love, and a little bit of stevie b cuz i love you. embarrassed, the windows will be shut. and even then, under the moonlight the lyrics will come out, like blurred spanglish silhouettes, stagnant where 101 meets the 405, and like stars that get lost in the smog that never touch the ﬂoor. and i will sing you, and i will dance you, and i will dance you the song like half cantinﬂas and half elaine seinﬁeld until you open the windows like a queen, or the cops arrive treating me like a king.
y lo haré, lo haré, pero después de otro gin and tonic.
and i will, i will, but after another gin and tonic. Harold Terezón
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The Story of Forgetting Unintentionally I’ve forgotten Gradually I don’t care A mistake in the past wait for forgiveness no more It will soon be over When this song reaches the end Why do I choose to keep a distance Oh why do I burden all the pain and shame How I hope all I can remember is that I can remember no more I packed up my fondness Deep and robust To release would be a disaster For both of us It’s not time to lose hope It’s not right to destroy But it was meant to fail at ﬁrst It would last forever since the scratch Join the gamble or leave the table Hurry Before your existence is part of my life
Ivy Lin Ivy Lin
Un classico è un libro che ancora prima di essere ﬁnito ti dice quello che deve dire. Italo Calvino (A classic is a book whose meaning you know before you read it)
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Resignação uma vida solitaria um sonho desvalido um sentimento de minha alma rompen em pedazos o construido pelos anos não posso respirar sim seu ar mas tento viver com o ar de outro não intento esquecer seus olhos mas os busco dentro das olheadas dos demais se que não poderei esquecerlo porque meu coração intenta convencerlo é um esforço silencioso porque minha covardia é mais forte que minha intenção somente posso sonhar em um impossivel é tal vez ﬁque com a pergunta sem resposta para que denegar-o, tenho medo de perderlo aunque nunca o tive em meus braços Claudia Huesca
Resignation A life in solitude An abandoned dream A sorrow wedged in my soul Destroys everything constructed over the years I can’t breed without his breath But I try to survive with the air of someone else I gave up trying to forget his eyes But I try to ﬁnd them in the eyes of others I know I cannot erase him from my mind Because my heart still tries to convince him It’s a silent struggle Because my cowardice is much stronger than my intention I can only dream on an impossible someone And maybe I will stay with the question unanswered Why try to deny it?, I am frightened of losing him Even though I never had him in my arms Claudia Huesca
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Mi bella quetzal, Vuela más allá de los carros, Los árboles, Las casas, Los ediﬁcios, Las montañas, Del smog, Cerca del sol. Vuela hasta el cima del cielo, Entre las nubes, Donde no pueda verte, Ni escucharte. Vuela en la noche, Entre las estrellas, Donde perteneces. Vuela mi bella quetzal Hasta el punto donde los sueños Se mezclan con la realidad. Vuela. Y si algún día Necesites descansar, Siempre estaré En el mismo lugar, En la misma rama, Sonriendo, Con mi alas abiertas.
My beautiful quetzal, Fly far higher than the cars, The trees, The houses, The buildings, The mountains, The smog, Close to the sun. Fly until you reach the pinnacle of the sky, Among the clouds, Where I will not see you Or hear you. Fly in the night, In the midst of the stars, Where you belong. Fly my beautiful quetzal To where dreams Blend in with reality. Fly. And if someday You must rest, I will be here In the same place, On the same branch, Smiling, With open wings.
La saggezza non sta nel non distruggere idoli, sta nel non crearne mai. Umberto Eco (Wisdom is not in not destroying idols, it is in never creating them)
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Bonjour, mon Petit Prince!
Good morning, my Little Prince!
Avec mes blessures Dans les chaussures de la jolie couture, Je danse la danse de la décadence. Perdue dans les pages des journaux Avec un stylo Entre les dents Et une tasse de café vide sur la table Je porte la mine agréable.
With my blisters In shoes of beautiful design, I dance the dance of decadence Lost in the pages of my journals, With a pen between my teeth, And an empty cup of coffee on the table, I’m wearing a pleasant face.
Et pendant la nuit, Quand je regarde vers le ciel, Je vois la lune couleur de miel, Et je te vois sur ton vélo Volant parmi les etoiles, Sur le chemin de mes cheveux de blé Jusqu’à la lune jaune avec les clés Qui ouvrent les portes des secrets. Le souvenir de tes yeux étranges Est éclairé par la lumière de la Lune si douce et si orange. C’est la couleur de mon esprit- la couleur De l’ambre. J’attend que tu viennes me prendre Avec toi vers les planètes et les étoiles, Sous les voiles De la douceur De ton Coeur, Des bisous d’un grand bonheur. Donne moi des aventures Des joies et des blessures, Des dances et des chansons, Le souvenir de tes lèvres Du goût de la glace et Des bonbons, De la clarté et des ténèbres Des rêves sous la couverture de la nuit Dans le jardin, sur l’herbe, Caressée par la pluie. Et quand je me réveillerai après la danse, Je te dirai,“Bonjour, mon Petit Prince!”
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And during the night, When I look towards the sky, I see a moon the color of honey, And I see you on your bicycle, Flying amidst stars, Along the road of my hair of wheat, Until the yellow moon, with the keys Which open the doors of secrets. The memory of your strange eyes, Is lit by the light Of the moon so tender and so orange. It’s the color of my spirit- the color Of Amber. I’m waiting for you to take me With you towards the planets and stars, Underneath the sails Of the gentleness Of your Heart, Of the kisses of a tremendous happiness. Give me the adventures Of joys and wounds, Of dances and songs, Of the memory of your lips Of the taste of ice-cream And candy, Of light and of shadows, Of dreams under the cover of night, In the garden on the grass, Caressed by the rain. When I wake up after the dance, I will say: “Good morning, my Little Prince!”
“ﬁldiþi yastýktan kule” üzerinde uzandýðým bu yatak baþucumda elbet bir defterim ve hiç tükenmez kalemim pek ala benim vataným olabilir chicago’da kýrmýz viyana’da beyaz evimde orman rengi bir yastýk, bir yorgan olmayana ne hayat rahat ne ölüm çözüm! baþý yastýkta, düþünecek birþeysi olmamak ne kötü! pencere önünde titrerken insanoðlu, hayvanlar ve orman (g)azabýndan “n’oluyor” düþünmeden dalabilmek uykuya bilebilsen ne kötü! gazap üzümleri arasýnda bir yýlan gibi pervasýz dalgalarýn merhametinde yol alýrken o kuleye, cefasýz ne sen mutlu ayrýlýrsýn boðazýndan ne üzümler, ne o kýz!.. Sener Akturk
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Tower of Ivory Pillow* This bed that I lie on A notebook by my head of course And my pen of inﬁnite ink Could be my--Fatherland! Red in Chicago White in Vienna Forest-colored at home A pillow, and a blanket To the one who doesn’t have them Life is no good Neither will death solve it! Your head on the pillow, And not to have a thing to think about How horrible! While shivering in front of your window Humanity, animals and the forest From your wrath Without thinking “What’s going on?” And to sleep! How horrible, if you’d only know… Between the grapes of wrath Like a careless snake Upon the mercy of the waves Sailing to that tower, scrupulous Neither will you depart happy Nor the grapes nor that girl… Sener Akturk
*According to an ancient, pre-Byzantine story that takes place in the Bosphorus, Istanbul, a king at the time was informed that his daughter would die of unnatural causes. In panic, he scrambled to build a tower in the middle of the Bosphorus (in the middle of the sea) that he thought would shield his daughter from all the dangers that exist in the outside world. He had to regularly send her food, though, since the artiﬁcial tower in the middle of the sea didn’t boast any nutritious resources. Once, along with a basket of grapes he sent, a snake, curled up in the basket, reached the tower and bit and killed her.
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La Notte Vola Quella serata avevo deciso di scatenarmi. Provavo di dimenticarlo. Ma ogni volta che mi ricordavo di quel maledetto venuto dell’inferno con quella bocca di angelo...io volevo che l’esistenza si fermasse per poter baciarlo un’altra volta. Oddio, innamorarmi, perche’? Io lo so perche’, la sua dolce voce maschile che mi parlava in romanesco, i suoi capelli biondi ondulati (tinti la primavera scorsa), i suoi occhi blu, il suo corpo dorato, abbronzato ad Ostia. E’ ad Ostia che l’ho conosciuto, l’antico porto romano abbandonato, abbandonato come me. La musica frenetica, i giovani ubriachi, i corpi sudati al suono della tecno. Che me ne fregava? Che ce ne fregava? Eravamo tutti immaturi, irresponsabili, appassionati. Ho bevuto, ho fumato, ho baciato altri che non amavo, ma neppure cosi’ riuscivo a dimenticarlo. Come lasciare nel passato tutto quello che m’e’ successo? Le passioni e le emozioni solamente servono per creare delle memorie lontane, racconti cliche’ e poesie amare. Poi amare puo’ essere dolce ma quando ﬁnisce e’ proprio amaro. Cuori rotti, e’ una storia antica, ma mi sorprende sempre quando accade a me. Non capivo perche’ mi permettevo di soffrire cosi. Ma le cose d’amore non si capiscono, si sentono. Se io potessi capire non sarei qui a scrivere questi pensieri pazzi in una poesia mediocre. I miei amici ﬁorentini m’avevano detto (con quell’accento toscano che solo loro sanno fare): “I romani sono cinici, non ﬁdarti, mi raccomando!” Io non ci ho creduto, ed allora un’altra storia estiva e’ ﬁnita in disastro. Ma le cose d’amore non si capiscono... La mia canzione prediletta suonava, quella celebre di Lorella Cuccarini degli anni 80: La Notte Vola Con tanto ﬁato in gola Qualquno ti innamora Qualcuno ti consola, Bambino... Quella notte nessuno mi consolova
Luiz Augusto Silva Batista
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The Night Flies That night I had decided to party my ass off. I was trying to forget him. But every time that I’d remember that dammed guy that came directly from hell with that angelical mouth...I’d want that existence stopped so I could kiss him once more. Oh god, fall in love, why? I know why, his sweet masculine voice speaking to me in Roman dialect, his wavy blond hair (dyed last spring), his blue eyes, his golden body tanned at Ostia. At Ostia we met, the ancient abandoned Roman port, abandoned just like me. The frenetic music, the drunken youth, the sweaty bodies dancing to the sound of tecno. What did I care? What did we care? We were all imature, careless, passionate. I drank, I smoked, I kissed others whom I didn’t love, but not even like this was I able to forget him. How to leave in the past all that had happened? Passions and emotions are only good for far away memories, cliched stories and bitter poems. ‘Cuz love can be sweet but when it ends it’s really bitter. Broken heart, it’s an old story, but it still surprises when it happens to me. I couldn’t understand why I allowed myself to suffer like this. But one is not supposed to unerstand love, only feel it. If I could understand it I would’t be here writing crazy thoughts in a mediocre poem. My Florentine friends told me (with that beautiful Toscan accent that only they themselves can master): “Romans are cynical, don’t trust ‘em, I am telling you! I didn’t believe it, and now another summer love ended in tragedy. But one is not supposed to understand love... My favorite song was playing, that famous one by Loretta Cuccarini from the 80s: The Night Flies With air in its throat When you fall in love Someone will console you, Oh Boy... That night nobody consoled me.
Luiz Augusto Silva Batista
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Tatyana Shmygol *** Plump branches of lilac In a brown vase next to the TV; You remember we always had lilac in May? Polished hardwood ďŹ‚oors squeaked gently, Like a peeled apple with copper spots The day aged. Tatyana Shmygol
There is nothing that is difďŹ cult in essence, but there are people who think there is
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Tatyana Shmygol *** Glass melancholy of leaves tearing off. Like shadows of branches on the wall Our separation lies ﬂat. Snow-blue air smells of fresh muskmelon. Covered with thin paper cuts Hands are going numb. So night drizzle is awaiting the broken songs of the morning. So the blind autumn waits for its last leap.
Tatyana Shmygol on
erc sto p
giu rdi virtù e eopa has l l L e d o it a acom ecause roic roico. i e G ù i di e tly b la p exac za è arenza n e e u i pp az virt La p ssuna a roic e h e t ha n mos the it) s i e ic to ienc (Pat ng hero i noth
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MOON CAKE Your face is very pretty It’s pearly, white and mysterious, Like the moon. And on the inside it’s very sweet And delicate. That is why you are my moon cake. The more I eat, the fatter I get. As soon as I have ﬁnished eating you, I miss you.
Anastasia Namsaraeva - Page 28 -
Tu sudor Dentro del volcán se encuentra el misterio En medio de la lava esta el calor Imagino sumergirme allí dentro Y encontrar a ese misterio que me hipnotizó Mi mente logra hacernos dos en uno Inhalamos el mismo aire, puedo ver todo en detalle dentro de ti Bailamos al mismo ritmo, Y una sonrisa picara forman mis labios al imaginar lo que pensaras de mi Cada momento es más ardiente Cada palpitar produce más calor Y cada que me acerco para descubrir ese misterio Se producen incesables llamas de pasión De pronto me detengo, estoy a punto de llegar… Decido alejarme al descubrir que ese misterio Es el que alimenta a ese volcán Salgo entre los poros de tu piel Soy parte del sudor que empapa todo tu cuerpo Y te acaricio recorriéndote desde la frente hasta los pies Me ves a los ojos, Veo tus ojos negros y sonrío Sigues bailando sin saber que, Entre mi imaginación y mis sueños, Supe lo que eres para mí: Eres mi misterio eterno Eres mi volcán ardiente Eres tu y yo… C.H.
Volcano From within the volcano the mystery is found In the middle of the lava lies the heat I imagine submerging myself inside And ﬁnding the mystery that hypnotized my soul My mind succeeds in making us both one We inhale the same air, while I can see it all in detail from within you We dance at the same rhythm And my lips form a ﬂirty smile as I imagine your thoughts of me Every instant becomes more intense Every palpitation produces more heat And every time I get closer to discovering that mystery Incessant ﬂames of ﬁre are produced Suddenly I stop…I am about to get there I decide to move away realizing that the mystery Is what feeds the volcano I exit through the pores of your ﬂesh I become part of the sweat that covers your whole body And I caress you, starting from the tip of your head To the tips of your toes You look deep into my eyes I see your ebony eyes as I smile You continue dancing without knowing that Between my imagination and my dreams I have realized what you have become to me: You are my eternal mystery You are my passionate volcano It is you and I
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Our Beloved Vagabond: John Fizer You must have seen him in front of Dwinelle, passionately strumming the strings of his dear old guitar, tapping his foot on the asphalt and singing his heart out to one of Bob Dylan’s songs. At times you may see him early in the morning, sitting on one of the Dwinelle benches, reading a fresh newspaper, and sipping on his favorite Peet’s coffee. It’s Berkeley’s beloved vagabond, John Fizer—a sincere, profound and poignant poet, musician and singer. He has a talent for attracting all kinds of people. His husky, trembling voice lures in the listener with its purity, its hidden truths, and its inexplicable familiarity. John gives himself entirely to his songs, granting them an earnest and remarkable wandering personality. John’s life has not been easy. It takes courage and endurance to live completely unattached: one day sleeping under the inﬁnite sky with its beautiful, cold and distant stars, the next being hounded by rain or cops; to live from day to day in the present without any certainties or plans for the future, to play music just to earn enough money to feed oneself through the day, to wander from town to town in search of something unknown. John has never yielded to despair, but maintains a strong spirit, a palpable kindness and a profound love for life and for people. His music mesmerizes the listener, stirring deep emotions. The hard, unsympathetic edge of today’s reality has turned many a dreamer into a jaded cynic. But somehow, in all his wanderings, John clings to the belief that Love will save the world.
Portrait of John Fizer by Hao Li, oil on canvas* *To see more of Hao’s wonderful works go to http://l1hao.100freemb.com/
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Special Feature: A poem by John Fizer Untitled You came to me your moonbeam skin Was glowing from a ﬁre within The lonely castle that shields you From your lovers Although I can’t remember when I know I knew you before then As though you’d always been Beneath my covers It’s you but I have dreamed Of many others Your smile enticed me to recite a poem I once tried to write For someone else but now I ﬁnd It ﬁts you Dishonesty makes me feel guilty And though I felt you slowly melt The hand that held the hopes I quietly withdrew You told me that you wanted me There with you Then contemplating softly on The dreams and schemes so lofty That had led me innocently Chasing shadows I realized a lifetime of Repressed love was a part of The reason I was drowning In your shallows I was like some man framed Upon your gallows You called my name and somehow I was swallowed
Forgive me for the gift I bring Is wrapped up in my suffering I’ve been alone I don’t care To remember I now assert that I won’t hurt You with a past beyond the worth Of all and anything I could surrender If I can I’ll take your hand As your defender And let you in to be That close and tender I wish I could explain to you The trips that I have traveled through Obliquely and obtusely Stumbling blindly Towards some golden door as yet Unopened still before me With a broken key left hanging To remind me It will never open if I speak Unkindly So in my mind I say Open up And ﬁnd me You came to me your moonbeam skin Was glowing from a ﬁre within The lonely castle that shields you From your lovers Although I can’t remember when I know I knew you before then If only in some dream I can’t recover It’s you my love and now I want no other It’s you who I have yet now To discover.
John Fizer, Tahoe 1969 VAGABOND
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“beyaz þapkalý kadýn” krapfelwald’da* bir havuz krapfelwaldbad krapfelwaldbad’da bir kadýn frau stolz* beyaz þapkasý ve güneþ gözlüðüyle yüzüyor sosyal devletin havuzunda dalga yok avrupa’nýn gül bahçesinde diken yok *** bengal’de salgýn var frau stolz yüzmekte tayvan’da deprem mi? sakýn þapka düþmesin cezayir’de katliam? aman frau stolz bembeyaz þapkanýza bir damla sýçramasýn kapkara gözlükleriniz aman aydýnlanmasýn
the woman with the white hat
Reﬂection from a mirror can help us improve our appearacne; reﬂections from others can help us improve our deeds
A pool in Krapfenwald Krapfenwaldbad A woman in Krapfenwaldbad Frau Stolz With her white hat and sunglasses, she isSwimmingIn the pool of the welfare state There are no waves In the rose garden of Europe There are no thorns Epidemic in Bengal Frau Stolz is swimming Earthquake in Taiwan? Be careful, your hat may fall! Massacre in Algeria? God forbid Frau Stolz Not a drop of blood should spill Onto your white hat Your dark sunglasses Should never see the Light Sener Akturk
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*** Looking vacantly with empty pupils Swarms of senseless crowds Overﬂowing with muddy smiles Ironically twisted Neatly ordered glitches of the brain Uneven jar A word forgotten someplace A girl like ice standing by the window No, perhaps made of ivory Statue of iron, stone A cloud that crept into the room Hiding body softly Suddenly a scream is heard beneath the ﬂoor “Help” “Get me out of here” A sigh escapes from red lips Just verbalized a little Frustration about the noise In this apartment Telephone ringing suddenly noisy The woman frowns And covers her ears
On the answering machine a man Talks in a mufﬂed voice Something about a kidnapping Not a big deal As the call ends The woman glances at the snow outside And goes to sleep Outside is a storm Under the frozen lake The imprisoned ﬁsh are Swimming.
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Samurai Sword I march along the street, and in my hand, I hold umbrella tight, like a samurai sword. Just come across my way, your head will roll off your shoulders without a word! This time you’ll lay under the icy sharpness of my knife With naked body shaking, you will plead to spare your life. But poor fool, you won’t be able to awaken Mercy in my soul And my revenge will turn into your constellation on the wall. Your cooled off pupils will ﬁxate the sticky dread. I’ll feel more peaceful, knowing that you are dead. And so, I’m walking down the street- as though I’m on the path of War I meditate about death, having forgotten all the dreams I dreamt before. I’m ready to avenge you for my shame, which is still warm My eyes and nose keep on the look out for the coming storm. How sweetly beautiful and somber is the day today! What’s that! Across the path of war I see my prey! I am prepared for this encounter in real life! I’ll ﬁnally destroy your ghost and end my strife! For that betrayal, all those brutal tortures of my heart, I heated up, and with the heat I made a blow to tear you apart. The air swiftly split from underneath my “sword,” I pushed the headless shadow- seeing it fall was a reward! In the obscurity of day your ghost melted away And in the blood of the setting sun, I went my way. At home, my goal completed, I walked through the door And shook off raindrops from the umbrella right onto the ﬂoor. Anastasia Namsaraeva VAGABOND
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El misterio de tu pensamiento Me zambullo en tu corazón La cabeza primero Después, los hombros Los brazos y el resto de mi cuerpo Sintiendo el mar de tus pensamientos Me está mojando, rodeando Y me pierdo En el laberinto de las calles Cruzadas tan intricadamente Son puentes sobre el río—donde corre El misterio de tu corazón Camino despacio y luego corriendo En las calles, en los puentes Buscando tus secretos, desesperadamente Me deslizo y me caigo Otra vez en el océano de tus pensamientos.
Ayako Urao The Mystery of your Thought I dive into your heart Head ﬁrst Then, my shoulders My arms and the rest of my body Feeling the sea of your thoughts It is drenching, surrounding me And I am lost In the labyrinth of the streets Crossed so intricately They are bridges above the river—where The mystery of your heart ﬂows I walk slowly and then running Along the streets, across the bridges Looking for your secrets, desperately I slip and I fall Again in the ocean of your thoughts. Ayako Urao
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stu no eu com lar s ici cho e, è ial Am e a s e soc o D is lik se nd , las ro. lib dmo class ac E ial sol un he na oc au oc es tic altr on ith pra ge he leg sw o c on ate om e n oci k) ass e boo L’u so ch n ly dio on s o ho ead ew yr (H o onl wh
Crème brûlée Today at the edges the sky is burnt And sugar has caramelized with a crisp crust On the walls of the broken horizon. Our world is buried under the crimson panzer. Windows are wide-open And books are uncovered on the table But in the viscous air the hum of airplanes Can be heard: there, the sky has cracked, And someone has pushed A hungry spoon - into crème brûlée. Tatyana Shmygol
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“ You see things, and you say ‘Why?’; But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ ” - George Bernard Shaw - Page 40 -
Published on Jan 27, 2013
Vagabond Multilingual Journal at the University of California at Berkeley, Spring 2005 Edition